Tikal Travel Blog› entry 22 of 39 › view all entries
April 3rd, 2009 – by: geokid
Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the Mesoamerican Maya civilization. It is located in the archaeological region of the Petén Basin in what is now northern Guatemala. Situated in the department of El Petén at Latutude 17°13′19″ North, Longitude 89°37′22″ West. Tikal is part of Guatemala's Tikal National Park and was named a UNESCO world Heritage site in 1979. The closest towns are Flores and Santa Elena. Flores is about 40 miles to the southwest of the ruins. There is no doubt that Tikal was one of the three or four major cultural and population centers of the Maya civilization. Monumental construction at this site began prior to 300 BC.
There are no springs, rivers, and lakes in the immediate vicinity of Tikal. Collection and storage of rainwater was the only water supply. Modern archaeologists reconditioned several of the ancient underground facilities to store water for their own use. The reliance on seasonal rainfall left Tikal vulnerable to prolonged drought, which is now thought to play a major role in the abandonment of Tikal
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